Building permits rise 6.2% in November, despite pandemic

FILE - This Sept. 24, 2020 file photo shows a new home under construction in Houston.  The number of newly issued permits to build fresh housing rose 6.2% in November on a seasonally adjusted basis. Housing starts rose 1.2%, and are up 12.8% higher than a year ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday, Dec. 17,  to an annualized rate of 1.547 million.  .(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - This Sept. 24, 2020 file photo shows a new home under construction in Houston. The number of newly issued permits to build fresh housing rose 6.2% in November on a seasonally adjusted basis. Housing starts rose 1.2%, and are up 12.8% higher than a year ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday, Dec. 17, to an annualized rate of 1.547 million. .(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The number of newly issued permits to build fresh housing rose 6.2% in November on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Housing starts rose 1.2%, and are 12.8% higher than a year ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday, to an annualized rate of 1.547 million. That's a bit slower than October figures, when housing starts increased 4.7%.

Building permits, a good barometer of future activity, rose to 1.64 million annualized units. he figure remains up 8.5% from a year earlier, as the housing market remains one the strongest parts of the U.S. economy despite the widespread pandemic and increased lockdowns.